As the festive season approaches, the spirit of giving becomes even more meaningful, especially when it comes to those who reside in nursing homes.
Selecting the perfect gift for a nursing home resident requires thoughtfulness and a touch of creativity, as it should cater to their needs, bring comfort, and lift their spirits.
From cozy blankets that wrap them in warmth to engaging activities that keep their minds sharp, each present carries a message of care and companionship.
In this article, we’ve curated a list of 30 heartwarming Christmas gifts that are sure to brighten the holiday season for any nursing home resident, ensuring they feel cherished and connected during this special time of year.
Christmas Gift Ideas For Nursing Home Residents
1. Photo Albums
A photo album filled with pictures of loved ones is always a great Christmas gift to give to your elderly parent who may be in a nursing home or in an assisted living facility.
2. Rollators For Limited Mobility
If your senior loved one has limited mobility problems – a new rollator may be a perfect gift for him or her!
3. Spa Gift Basket
A spa gift basket is always a lovely gift for your senior loved one. Especially if you fill your own basket with their favorite soaps, lotions and other toiletries that they may find difficult to get.
4. Set Of Greeting Cards
Many seniors in nursing homes and assisted living facilities don’t have the opportunity to get out and purchase items and as a result, they tend to not send out greeting cards to their family and friends.
A gift of a set of greeting cards is a great way to help them to keep in touch with loved ones.
5. Indoor House Plants
If your elderly parent enjoyed plants, they may love to have some in their room at the nursing home. A gift of plants (especially ones that are easy to care for) can make their room a warmer and more inviting space to live in.
6. Basket Of Activities
7. Wraps and Shawls
Some seniors have a difficult time staying warm in large buildings like nursing homes.
So, giving them their own personal wrap or shawl can help them to feel not only warmer and more comfortable, but certainly more loved every time they put it on and they think of you!
8. Automatic Card Shuffler
For semi active seniors in nursing homes or assisted living facilities who have put together their own card game nights – an automatic card shuffler can help them enjoy playing more if they suffer from arthritis or other illness that makes it difficult for them to shuffle their game cards properly.
9. Wall Photo Frame
Frames for photo collages are always a wonderful way to decorate the walls of nursing homes or assisted living apartments. Purchase several and fill them with the photos of loved ones, then place them throughout the room.
Also – any decorative items that you can bring from their homes to place in their new living apartments to help them feel more comfortable and “at home” are always wonderful things to do for your elderly parent(s).
10. Cookie Baskets (beware of dietary restrictions)
Depending on the dietary restrictions of your elderly loved one(s) – if they can tolerate it – a gift of their favorite type of cookies would be a wonderful gift to give!
In fact, bringing in their favorite meal to share with them would also be a wonderful gift to give them. And, sharing your time with elderly in nursing homes is the greatest gift of all!
11. DVD Movies
Whether your elderly parent has a DVD player in his/her room or if there is a shared DVD player in the common room of the facility they are in – a set of movies is a great gift – especially if that set includes movies that you know they enjoy.
12. Large Print Books
My 100-year-old mom-in-law loves to read and for gifts, I buy her large print books. She loves telling me all about each book that she read!
If your parent is still able to read and enjoys it – then large print books are an excellent Christmas gift!
13. Large Print Coloring Book
Yes, I know – slippers aren’t very “unique” but they can certainly be extremely comfortable and necessary! So, consider getting your senior loved one a pair of non-slip slippers. Have a little fun with them and get ones with a design for the holidays like those shown here. There are basically 3 varieties to choose from:
- Standard slippers – These are the regular type of designs that we normally find.
- Bootie slippers – These have higher support around the ankle if that’s what’s needed.
- Sock slippers – These are socks with grippers which for some, may be more comfortable that any type of slipper with a rubber sole.
For more information on what to look for in slippers for seniors (the best safe ones to purchase) read our article on Slippers For Elderly To Prevent Falls.
15. Music (And Something To Play It On)
Anyone in a nursing home would be thrilled to receive a customized playlist of their favorite tunes. To go with that, you might include an easy-to-use music player.
16. Handheld Games
There is a huge variety of handheld electronic games on the market, which can be so entertaining (remember when you had Angry Birds or, going even further back, the handheld electronic Space Invaders game?).
17. Magazine Subscription
Why not get your senior loved one a subscription to a magazine related to their interests? Just because they now reside in a nursing home doesn’t mean they no longer want to read about celebrities, woodworking, quilting, or whatever their favorite hobby is.
18. Easy-To-Grip Pens
My husband has arthritis in his hands, so he only uses those thick, comfortable, easy-to-grip pens for writing. If your grandparent or mom or dad have arthritis, pens like these would make a thoughtful gift.
19. Gift Cards
Even if they don’t get out much anymore, your senior relative likely still would enjoy shopping. A gift card to a favorite store or for online shopping will allow them to get things they want or need.
20. An Aquarium
How about getting them a friend in the form of a fish? A small, easy care aquarium can sit on their dresser or a table. Plus, watching fish is calming and enjoyable.
21. Portable Hobby Organizer
If your senior mom still knits or your elderly dad still paints, they’d love a portable hobby organizer. There are many types to choose from for knitters, crafters, artists, and more.
22. A Talking Watch Or Clock
For those with visual impairments, checking the time can be a hassle. Make it easy for them with a talking watch or clock.
23. Seat Cushion
As we age, our skin gets thinner and sitting gets more uncomfortable. I remember my grandmother saying, “My sit bones aren’t as padded as they used to be!”
A memory foam seat cushion will give your loved one extra comfort when sitting in their chair or wheelchair.
24. Large Print Card Games
A set of large-print playing cards makes it easy to play their favorite games.
25. A Tablet
An easy to use tablet, pre-loaded with apps and games, would be a memorable gift for your senior. That way they can keep up with the news, shop online, play games, read emails, and keep in touch with loved ones near and far.
26. Amazon’s Echo Show
Speaking of keeping in touch with loved ones, a voice-activated assistant like Amazon’s Echo Show provides hands-free communication and entertainment.
27. Warm Socks
My feet are always freezing, so I love cozy, cushioned socks to keep my feet warm. Your loved one will, too. Be sure to get the kind that have rubber or silicone nubs on the bottom to make them non-slip.
Audiobooks are a great way for those who love books but may have difficulty reading.
29. Stuffed Animals
Stuffed animals may sound like something you would give a child, but they can also be a great way to provide companionship and comfort for a senior who reside in a memory care home due to dementia.
Some stuffed animals are interactive – such as the Joy For All Ageless Innovation dog who wags it’s tail and barks at the sound of a voice.
30. Personalized Calendars With Family Photos
My daughter made a personalized calendar for my parents one year and Mom couldn’t stop commenting on it. “Every month I get to see a new picture of someone I love,” she said – several times during the year.
They aren’t difficult to make. Just get 12 family photos together (or photos that are meaningful to the person getting the gift), upload the images, and let the company do the work for you.
The gifts on this list were chosen to cater to the comfort, enjoyment, and practical needs of nursing home residents. We hope you found some great ideas!
Just keep in mind that it’s always a good idea to consider the individual’s preferences and any rules the nursing home may have regarding gifts.